Why We Give a Damn About Decoding Dyslexia

“When I first held this tiny locket that reminds me of a little gift, I knew I wanted to put a photo of my first born in there. His years in elementary school have been an emotional ride. I remember my first real alarms firing when we were sitting at his kindergarten conferences at the end of the year and his teacher wasn’t describing my kid. It was like he had withdrawn and was hiding from something big. He repeated kindergarten per my request. Each year I felt like we were missing something. “The only way to fix it is read more” we were told. As a mom who reads crazy amounts to her kids, this was a big blow. Did we not read enough?! I took it personally. The amount of effort this child was putting forth was mind-blowing. But somehow I felt like nobody could quite figure him out. Now we are in fourth grade and a recent diagnosis of celiac disease seems like a walk in the park compared to what he deals with on a daily basis in school and figuring out how to learn in a system that doesn’t mesh with the way his brain works. He continues to persevere and be the brave boy he always has. But the light has started to dim because he’s tired. When he was 8 months old, a Chinese woman stopped me on the street and was mesmerized by my baby and how powerful he will some day be. She told me his head is very strong and smart and he will do big great things in the world. he will ❤️”

It’s funny how you don’t know what you don’t know, right? And until you’ve had a formative experience, one that kind of shakes up your world view (for better or worse) you remain rooted in what you don’t know.

Amy moved back to Minnesota from Brooklyn, NY, for many reasons, and one of them was for the schools. Navigating the schools in quaint MN seems like a breeze compared to NY. Or maybe seemed is better than seems.

Amy’s son, Henry, started hitting bumps on the school road in kindergarten. And then another year of kindergarten. And then slow progress. And more of the what-are-we-doing-wrong and why-is-he-falling-behind stress. And then a dyslexia diagnosis. But that was almost when the real stress set in, because so many schools are ill-equipped to support kids with dyslexia.

Even the best schools fail.

stats for dyslexia

So what next?

Amy found Decoding Dyslexia, and a network of people outside of her school who had answers. Resources. Information. She started digging in, rallying at the capitol, getting the right tutors for her son, advocating harder, learning that dyslexia falls so massively through the cracks that it’s missable. Unheard. Overlooked.

And this, for a woman who can navigate the system and has her children in one of the best schools in the state.

But here’s the thing. Kids with dyslexia are so bright, so creative, so resilient. There is so much hope for supporting them as awareness is raised and resources provided. 70-80% of people with poor reading skills are likely dyslexic. It’s so prevalent that it feels urgent. So. Many. Kids. And it makes us think of the achievement gap, the school to prison pipeline, and everyone who gets misdiagnosed – or worse – told they’re not smart, because they’re learning in an environment where resources have not been provided to teachers to support their students with dyslexia.

Decoding Dyslexia’s mission is to raise dyslexia awareness, to empower families to support their children and to inform policy-makers on best practices to identify, remediate and support students with dyslexia.

We’ve teamed up with the folks at Decoding Dyslexia this month to donate 25% of proceeds from our lockets to their cause.

Onward, with love.

Warmly,

Amy + Allyssa

P.S. Shop lockets here.

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